European Topic Centre on Urban, Land and Soil Systems (ETC ULS)

The European Topic Centre on Urban, Land and Soil systems, ETC/ULS, is supporting the European Environment Agency (EEA) in supporting monitoring of urban development in Europe, creating seamless European wide spatial reference data and develop and analyse various land related indicators.

Urban areas are home for most of the EU population and driver for economic growth and innovation, but their further sustainable growth represents a challenge both for internal management and planning as well as for the surrounding environment (land, soil, biodiversity).

Urban, land and soil systems is therefore a new strategic line of the EEA MAWP 2014-2018 reflecting an evolution towards a more integrated approach to environmental issues, including societal challenges mirrored on the inclusion of urban areas.

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EAGLE – Harmonising European Land Monitoring

The EAGLE group (Eionet Action Group on Land monitoring in Europe) was set up in 2009 by members of EIONET NRCs on land cover as a response to the growing need to discuss solutions for a better integration and harmonization of national mapping activities with European land monitoring initiatives (i.e. CLC) at technical level, independently from any political or industry preferences, following the concept of a bottom-up approach.

The EAGLE concept …

  • can be a useful framework for the integration of LC / LU information from various data sets in one single data model.
  • is applicable on both national and EU level.
  • is a vehicle for comparison and semantic translation between different LC/LU nomenclatures, and facilitates data exchange.
  • is open to be implemented as a LC / LU data collection standard for national land monitoring initiatives.
  • can be a coherent common data framework for several single GMES products (CLC, HRLs, Urban Atlas).